News Articles

Brother & sister’s joy blesses 69-year-old witness in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–“Mama” Jean Prather had already shared the gospel with countless people Feb. 16 when she encountered a family with a young boy and girl who were in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Prather, 69, related the story of Noah’s ark only to discover the children were already familiar with it.

She watched their eyes spark as she began to relate the story behind the “Jesus pin” in her hand. As she reached the color green, representing growth, she explained they could grow in Christ through reading the Bible, praying and associating with others who have a shared faith.

She then moved on to the gold, which represents God’s promise. She once again watched their faces light up as she told them Christians have something that is “More Than Gold.”

“It was just the expression on their faces that was just exhilarating,” Prather said. They continued to listen intently as Prather told about the two gold medals Christians are given — an abundant life on earth and an eternal life in heaven.

When asked if they were familiar with the pin, they children said “yes.” They told Prather they had already accepted Christ into their lives and attend a Lutheran school in California.

Prather provided both the children with pins and encouraged them to share the gospel with another person, thus becoming an extension of Action Ministries International {AMI}, a West Point, Ga.,-based ministry with which Prather is a volunteer. Both children took the pins and hugged Prather tightly around the legs.

The dark-haired boy with dark eyes looked up to her and requested another pin to share with his teacher.

“Then she would be able to share it with all the other little girls and boys in my class,” the boy reasoned.

After another hug, the family and Prather parted ways. Shortly after, however, the mother returned with a request for her daughter also to have an extra pin to share with her teacher.

Prather credited God with scheduling her “divine appointment” with the family.

“As they walked away and I looked at the joy in their lives, I just thought this was one of my divine appointments today,” Prather said. “God put us together so that I could be an encouragement to this family that was already Christian.”

This is one of the many times “Mama Jean” used her gift with children to do God’s work. Prather instructs a month-long class called “New Christians” for children who have recently come to the faith at First Baptist Church, Clinton, Miss.

Prather is a retired schoolteacher and administrator for gifted students. She has two grown children and six grandchildren.

Throughout the week with Action Ministries, Prather demonstrated her maternal aptitude many times — even nursing a sick team member back to health with chicken soup and Gatorade.

Staying with the ministry group at Salt Lake Community College, Prather, who arrived in Utah Feb. 8, will return home Feb. 21 and then fly back to Salt Lake City March 6 for the 2002 Winter Paralympics.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: MAMA JEAN.

    About the Author

  • Anna Maria Fry